- Category: Wine Reviews
(November 2022) ... The iconic Tuscan Sun logo, with the capitalization of "Luce" on the orange background - a branded wine created by two familiar families: Mondavi and Frescobaldi in the early '90s. The vision of the time was to make an iconic Montalcino, Tuscan wine using the know-how of the two iconic owners.
Time has passed, Robert Mondavi has passed on and the selling of the company has created a different front office; but behind the scenes the art of winemaking continues, and the Frescobaldi brand has expanded, now with full ownership of Luce along with their other iconic labels (Ornellaia, Masseto, plus Attems and Danzante) and their own estates : Nipozano, Castelgiocondo, Pomino, Castiglioni, Remole and Ammiraglia (6 in total)
Tonight, we taste with the new winemaker of Tenuta Luce, Alessandro Marini, who took the reins in 2018. Italian trained with French experience in Pomerel at Petrus, he is intimately familiar with Merlot, the basis for the Luce's iconic flagship wine.
2019 Lucente … paired with carne crudo
This is Luce entry level wine 75% Merlot and 25% Sangiovese from their 88 hectares state*. Mostly the young vines go into the wine, those grown on lighter soils. It's fruit driven with mocha, and a hint of dustiness with a lovely approachability. (*** ½+)
2019 Luce … paired with pappardelle d'anatra
A 50/50 split between Merlot and Sangiovese sourced from their oldest vines: earthy with good acidity: pleasantly dark fruited with smokey elements and a long finish that peppers in cedar and oak notes. (****)
2017 Luce Brunello … paired with controfiletto di manzo
This is 100% Sangiovese, grown at the highest part of the estate to keep freshness and acidity in the grapes. It is then aged the required time in Slavonian oak: leathery and spicy with lots of complexity - the acidity rises to the occasion, and causes the drinker to say “wow!” – as I heard plenty of those around my table. There's plenty of red fruit and even a hint of orange rind gracing the olfactories. Best wine of the night. (**** ½)
* The makeup of the estate vineyard is 55% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon